Manipal: In a unique attempt to promote interest in basic sciences among students, the Manipal Life Sciences Centre (MLSC) organised a five-day training programme for 26 children of ninth standard from 13 schools in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga districts.
The programme was aimed at exposing students to the latest trends in science and technology and the opportunities in those fields.
MLSC Director K. Sathyamoorhty, said: “The aim is to cultivate enthusiasm among students in basic sciences and the scope for research in the field. The number of students opting for basic sciences is declining. Basic sciences form the foundation of applied sciences and play an important role in the development of a nation.”
Under the training programme that began on February 23, the schoolchildren have been watching films on science, doing experiments in cell biology, plant biology, biotechnology and related medical fields at the MLSC.
They have been spending half the day at the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT).
The MLSC is providing the training free of cost. The students will be given certificates for attending the programme during the National Science Day celebrations organised by the Manipal University on February 28. The MLSC will also be giving an incentive of Rs. 500 for each student, at the end of the training programme.
Suraksha, a student of SLNP Vidyalaya, Panemangalur, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to know more about biology and biotechnology. The teachers here taught us many things we did not know. They taught us to identify our blood groups.”
Prajna, a Kannada-medium student of Nehru High School, Alevoor, said: “I am looking at an advanced microscope for the first time. I saw cell divisions through it.”
Her classmate Rashmi said, “After the training here, I feel like taking up research in science.”
On February 28, nearly 400 students would be visiting the Anatomy Museum, T.M.A. Planetarium, MIT, MLSC and other institutions situated on the Manipal University campus.